“The vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears”
—President Donald J. Trump.
Antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, but it has been particularly virulent in New York City. According to the Jerusalem Post, in the first three quarters of 2019, there were 166 complaints of anti-Jewish hate incidents out of a total of 309 hate incidents of all kinds, meaning antisemitic attacks constituted 54% of all hate crimes in New York, despite the fact that the Jewish population is only 13% of the city’s residents. On January 5th,as a show of support to my Jewish friends and colleagues, I was one of twenty five thousand participants in the No Hate, No Fear Solidarity March, which was was a rally against antisemitism whose purpose belied race or religion. According to politicians like Mayor Bill De Blasio,and news organizations like The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump is normalizing antisemitism. Progressive arguments regarding a myriad of topics are usually steeped in great nuance, but when it comes to antisemitism, their arguments are quite simplistic. They assert that the rise of antisemitism is commensurate with the rise of nationalism, and Donald Trump and politicians like him are inspiring legions of tiki torch carrying neo- Nazis to carry out hate crimes against Jews in America and around the world.The foundation of their argument is based on an out of context quote that President Trump believes that some white supremacists are “very fine people.” In reality, the very fine people President Trump was referencing were the individuals that attended the Charlottesville rally that were neither neo- Nazis nor Antifa members that either supported or disagreed with the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials in the United States. Progressives often claim that the very presence of white supremacists mobilizing at a rally in the United States is proof that President Trump is antisemetic, because this did not happen during the presidency of Barack Obama. I would argue that the removal of Confederate monuments did not happen in earnest until President Obama was out of office , and their removal the catalyst which unearthed the worst that society has to offer. While it might be true that Trump’s rhetoric is often inflammatory and entirely unnecessary, i argue that while anitisemitism is a creature of the right as well as the left, it is the progressive left and the political power and influence of groups like “The Squad” and not President Trump,and a rogues’ gallery of miscreants carrying tiki torches and neo -Nazi symbols that is responsible for the most potent form of antisemitism; the kind that can actually result in the destruction of Israel.
Wikipedia defines antisemitism as a form of racism, and “hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews”, and that “ a person who holds such positions is called an antisemite”. In what I consider the definitive treatise on the subject entitled Antisemitism in 3-D, Natan Sharansky makes a distinction between classical antisemitism, vulgar tropes “aimed at the Jewish religion or the Jewish people,” and a new, more subtle form directed against the Jewish state, and “hiding beneath the veneer of legitimate criticism of Israel.” Sharansky conveys his method to differentiate legitimate criticism of Israel from antisemitism by subjecting criticisms against Israel to his “3 D”methodology based on demonization, double standards, and delegitimization. Demonization, or the idea that Jews are money grubbing Shylocks that control the world is easily detectable, is Sharansky’s first “D” and serves as the foundation of the classic repertoire of antisemitism used by both progressives as well as the alt right. Marx’s On The Jewish Question (1844) provides fertile ground for antisemetic thought:
What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.
Money is the jealous God of Israel, in face of which no other God may exist. Money degrades all the Gods of man and turns them into commodities. The bill of exchange is the real God of the Jew. His God is only an illusory bill of exchange.
The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.
The second “D” is the test of double standards which is self explanatory. When Israel is vilified for their actions, are other nations in turn vilified when they engage in similar behavior?
The third “D” is the test of delegitimization, or the denial of the Jewish State, in addition to the Jewish people and the Jewish religion, as Israel is presented as “the prime remnant of imperialist colonization.”
By the media’s framing of antisemitism as a solely right wing phenomenon, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, how it has been covered by the media, and what progressive politicians have been saying before, during and after the event gives credence to my claim that it is progressives promulgating the BDS movement, and not Donald Trump and white supremacists that pose the greatest threat to the nation of Israel.
Moreover, a reflection on the rally is a microcosm of Sharansky’s 3-D concept seen manifested in a new and revealing way, and in light of new historic events. In addition to the classic demonization of Israel that still persists which compares Israelis to money grubbing shylocks and Nazis, and Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz, progressive politicians like Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Beto O’ Rourke have expanded upon this idea by demonizing President Trump as the second coming of Adolf Hitler, and have made comparisons between the migrant situation at America’s southern border to the Holocaust, which represent yet another type of delegitimization of Israel and trivialization of its perpetual suffering.
Despite what his detractors claim by twisting his words, many consider President Trump “the most pro- Israel President since Harry Truman .” Regarding Sharansky’s test of double standards manifesting in a new context, Emma Green of the Atlantic asserted that “in the world sketched by white supremacists, Jews “hover malevolently in the background, pulling strings and controlling events,” which she believes is “clear in statements made by people like David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who proudly marched with other white supremacists in Charlottesville.”
Even the Anti- Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt is quoted in Green’s article with his view that the Trump administration “indulges bigotry so as to not alienate some supporters,” and that “the extreme right considers many people a threat, but it always, always, always comes back to the Jews.” On the other hand, Green fails to mention the fact that Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar’s logic is the same as the white supremacist with her infamous “it’s all about the Benjamins” tweet that inferred that “support for Israel in Congress was bought with Jewish money.” The application of Marxist ideas to cultural goals rather than economic goals have been a great benefit to the aspiring antisemites of the Democratic Party and the media, who have scapegoated neo- Nazi’s in an effort to divert attention away from the damage done by politicians like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. An idea which would have been challenged 20 years ago regardless of who said it is now deemed an attack of a person who is a member of an “oppressed group” thus rendering them immune to criticism.
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels envisioned a classless society, and a revolution based on a global coalition of workers who came to the realization that they were being exploited. When Adolph Hitler designed the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, he hoped for a new German society based on antisemitism and warped views of racial purity. These ideas were summarily rejected, and devastating wars were fought to prevent these ideologies from taking hold, but not after catastrophic loss of life in the range of over one hundred million. It is disheartening to realize that the worst ideas conceived by man never die. They go into remission, and are repackaged to a young audience unaware of the lessons of history, or an older audience that seems to have forgotten them. Yosef Kuperwasser posits that well- intentioned progressives that support the BDS movement should understand that “the goal of BDS is not to change the policies of Israel’s government or force it to reform, but rather to “single out the Jewish state, alone among the nations of the earth, as the one country in the world that must be destroyed”, and that “anyone who calls themselves pro- BDS, however noble they may believe their intentions are, ought, at a minimum, acknowledge that this is the true end toward which they are working.”
Although it appeared as if Marxist/Leninist ideologies and antisemitism had been eradicated from society, they have made a global resurgence. Those who have made this possible have been able to do as Martin Luther King suggested, although in a different context,which is to “cloth an obvious wrong in the beautiful garments of righteousness”. This deception has resonated with a new breed of `woke” social activists. Among this group are some very fine people whose only goals are a more accountable and heavily regulated and taxed form of capitalism, or a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that results in a solution that is more palatable to the Palestinian people. On the other hand, also ensconced within this group are individuals who seek to destroy capitalism, Western civilization, and the nation of Israel. We must have the courage to call out those who seek the latter, and distinguish who the protagonists and antagonists are without fear of repercussion. Jeffrey Hart, the former senior editor of National Review once wrote that Israel was sacred, because “the Holocaust was sort of a hole in the cosmos, a guarantor of the existence of evil”. He believed that it was” an equivalent for Jews of the Crucifixion, and Israel then became the equivalent of the Redemption.” I agree with Jeffrey Hart, and although I am a Christian, I stand with Israel, and will defend it with both my words and my actions.